The 2019 Honda Pilot and the 2019 Toyota Highlander are at the forefront of the 3-row crossover SUV race. For families who aren't interested in a minivan, both crossover SUVs are great options. Hauling passengers and hauling cargo comfortably isn't an issue for the Pilot or the Highlander.


The 2019 Honda Pilot is slightly larger than the 2019 Toyota Highlander. The Pilot is roughly 3 inches taller, 4 inches longer, and 3 inches wider than the Highlander. [insert size dimensions] Though the Pilot will take up a bit more space in your garage, you'll have a greater cargo capacity.

While there is a size difference, there isn't much difference in the looks of the Honda and the Toyota. Both crossovers have a traditional boxy SUV look whilst maintaining a modern edge. The Pilot and the Highlander both make available blacked out grilles. The grilles heighten the modern look by providing a rugged, yet refined, aesthetic.


Both SUVs can seat up to 8 people and can seat up to 3 people in the 3rd row alone. The Pilot and the Highlander have bucket seats in the 2nd row to make it easier to access the 3rd row.

Fortunately, the Pilot has more legroom in its 3rd row than the Highlander has. In addition to a roomier 3rd row, the Pilot also has more cargo space available.


Accidents are just one consideration that drivers must think about when weighing their options when purchasing a vehicle, especially a family vehicle. Decreasing the severity of a potential collision is important. Luckily, the Honda Pilot has a plastic fuel tank that is able to endure more harsh impacts without the possibility of leaking. The ability to withstand intrusive impacts lessens the possibility of fire upon impact. The Toyota doesn't have this added safety measure as it has a metal fuel tank.

Next, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has rated the 2019 Honda Pilot higher (thus, safer) than the 2019 Toyota Highlander on several tests such as neck injury risk, stress, compression; leg forces; chest movement; and more.

Performance Specs

The 2019 Honda Pilot offers a 3.5-liter V6 engine. On the other hand, the 2019 Toyota Highlander has 3 engine options available: 2.7-liter I4-cylinder, 3.5-liter V6, or hybrid 3.5-liter V6. Although the Highlander has more engine options, the Pilot's engine outperforms one option and is comparable to another option.

The Pilot has 280hp and 262 pounds of torque, while also getting excellent fuel efficiency. The Highlander's smallest engine has 185 horsepower and 184 pounds of torque, while averaging; 20mpg in the city and 24mpg on the highway.

Unlike the Toyota Highlander, the Honda Pilot comes standard with a cap-less fueling system. The Highlander doesn't offer a comparable system.

Also, the Honda Pilot comes standard with a 9-speed automatic transmission. The 9-speed transmission allows for better acceleration and a lower engine speed. The Toyota Highlander is only available with an 8-speed transmission.

As expected, since the Pilot and the Highlander are both crossover SUVs, both come standard with front-wheel drive and both have available all-wheel drive.


Honda Sensing is available on each Pilot. This safety suite feature fuses together safety technologies like lane assist, adaptive cruise control, road departure mitigation, traffic sign recognition, and collision mitigation braking. Likewise, the Toyota Highlander offers a safety technology package known as Toyota Safety Sense.

In terms of infotainment systems, the 2019 Honda Pilot has an advantage over the 2019 Toyota Highlander. An 8-in infotainment system comes standard on every trim of the Pilot except the base LX model, which has a 5-inch unit. For remaining Pilot's trims, the 8-inch infotainment system includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

The Highlander comes standard with a 6.1-in Entune audio system. Drivers have the option to upgrade to an 8-inch unit with SiriusXM. Satellite navigation and JBL premium audio are also available for upgrade. Alas, neither Android Auto nor Apple CarPlay are available with the Highlander.

While the safety technologies are similar, drivers wanting to be well-connected are much more likely to be satisfied with the Pilot's ability to stay connected.


The 2019 Honda Pilot is only $100 more expensive than the 2019 Toyota Highlander. The Pilot starts at $31,450 and the Highlander starts at $31,330. However, for those seeking a V6 engine, which comes standard on the Pilot, the Highlander will be notably pricier.

The V6 Highlander starts at $33,380. Therefore, in comparing the Pilot and V6 Highlander, a driver will save almost $2,000 with the Pilot.

The Verdict

The Pilot and the Highlander have many similarities, but also have many differences. The 2019 Honda Pilot's combination of interior space, technology features, and pricing, may make the Pilot more cost-efficient and value-efficient than the 2019 Toyota Highlander.